Last year Bunzl plc, a leading international supplier, celebrated 40 years of successful investment in the United States. Bunzl plc has experienced nearly all of its growth in North America since establishing headquarters in Missouri. Bunzl North America’s story is unique and shows why Missouri is the perfect location for the company to keep growing its business in North America.
Bunzl plc, headquartered in London, UK is an international distribution and outsourcing group that supplies products that are essential for business operations across the globe. The group has been enjoying growth over the years, with operations in the Americas, Europe, and the Asia Pacific.
Their products include a range of outsourced food packaging, disposable supplies, and cleaning and safety products to food processors, supermarkets, non-food retailers, convenience stores, and other users.
Bunzl North America (BNA), headquartered in Missouri, is the largest division of Bunzl plc.
The North American headquarters has been in Missouri since 1983, the year Bunzl acquired a group of companies based in the city. The former owner of the acquired companies and leader of those businesses was appointed CEO of BNA and was charged with growing the business throughout North America. For almost 40 years, the company’s growth has been a result of both organic growth and from more than 100 acquisitions.
BNA now owns and operates more than 190 warehouses that serve all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, the Caribbean, and parts of Mexico. With more than 8,000 employees and 400,000-plus supply items, it is now regarded as a leading supplier in North America.
Bunzl plc operates a decentralized business model and BNA has always had significant autonomy to run its own business. BNA has a full C-Suite in Missouri that handles all aspects of managing the North American business, including during the pandemic.
Like many other companies, BNA experienced supply chain challenges in the last 20 months, both domestically and internationally where COVID-related restrictions and lockdown impacted the capacity of logistic providers around the world.
Another significant challenge caused by the pandemic was labor shortages. The reduced availability of labor for warehousing and driver positions had caused BNA to expand its recruitment and employment marketing activities. The inflation in labor costs driven by labor competition impacted operating costs and led to the need to look for additional ways to automate processes.
Ultimately, being located in Missouri became a huge benefit to BNA during the pandemic. Being centrally located geographically allowed BNA’s business leaders to travel easily among its various locations in North America, when it was safe to do so.
Also, Missouri has the added benefit of being a lower-cost state for businesses, which has helped to provide a stable environment for BNA’s long-term talented associates.
BNA’s connections to local educational institutions like Washington University in St. Louis and St. Louis University have allowed BNA to enhance the growth and education of key leaders in its business.
BNA’s ability to continue to deliver a high level of service, through the pandemic, at a competitive price, is now more important than ever and will continue to differentiate them to enable the company to accelerate growth.
<Quote by Dan Lett, EVP, Corporate Development, BNA
“Missouri offers an affordable, family environment with access to a broad range of cultural aspects that are attractive to talented individuals.”
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